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them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice ; and

; there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Christ is not only the Door of the Sheep, He is also the "good,”? the genuine? Shepherd, as contrasted with these shepherds but in name, hirelings only, craven, careless. And He glances prophetically at what was coming upon Him; the time, even then drawing nigh, when He should lay down His life for us. Very different would be the interest felt in the flock, very different the care taken of it, by the shepherd to whom the sheep belonged, and by one who was only hired temporarily for the purpose. of the ravenous beasts which infested those mountains and plains of Syria came prowling about the flock, unlike the faithful Jacob,5 unlike the valiant David, unlike those watchful shepherds to whom, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, the good tidings of a Saviour's birth was proclaimed by an Angel from heaven, the hireling flees, and leaves the flock for a prey unto their teeth. Thus the Lord glances at the conduct of selfish and mercenary Pharisees. Thus He admonishes any who serve in His Household the Church even now for filthy lucre's sake; the indolent, the careless, who will not contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. And again, instructing us by the contrast, He calls Himself “The good Shepherd.” He professes the interest He takes in His sheep, and indicates what is at once their duty in return, and a mark also of their being His indeed. They recognize Him; in His word and in His

? works, in the Sacraments of His grace, in the ordinances of 1 St. John ii. 10.

tions make the genuine soldier-cer2 “He is good, not in the sense of tain peculiar qualifications make the benevolent, but in the sense of genu- genuine or good shepherd."— Sermons ine, true-born, of the real kind—just by F. W. Robertson, Second Series, as wine of nobler quality is good when compared with the cheaper sort; just Bengel notes that this is said no as a soldier is good or noble who is a fewer than five times, and with the soldier in heart, and not a soldier by utmost force. mere profession or for pay. It is the 4. Vir. Ecl. iii. 80. same word used by St. Paul when he 5 Gen. xxxi. 36-42. speaks of a good, i. e. a noble, soldier 6 1 Sa. xvii. 34-36. of Christ. Certain peculiar qualifica- · Vir. Ecl. x. 15.

p. 289.

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His House, in stedfast faith, in humble hope, in loving obedience. Between Him and His there is an union firm as between the Father and the Son. It is a strong expression, but the Lord Himself is the Author of the comparison; and it is very full of comfort to the man who feels his weakness, and finds such a protector in this dangerous world. And again the Lord utters that prophecy concerning Himself, coupling it on, for a strong consolation, to what has gone before. With prophetic eye He views other sheep, on distant hills, not of this but of many another fold, yet to be gathered into one great flock, to share the guardianship of the Good Shepherd. This is one of our encouragements to Missionary effort amid abounding iniquity at home and abroad, to Christian union amid "our unhappy divisions.”

” Christ's ministers are sent forth “ to seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad.”. He has declared that they

5 shall hear His voice. Even now things are tending to this consummation among all them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. And one day the bright vision of unity, too bright perhaps for earth, shall at length be realized, “One Flock, one Shepherd.”

· The meaning, which in the E. V. tenderness which bends over us-inis somewhat obscure, is clear in the finitely lower though we be in nature original.

--and knows the name of each and ? The expression “I lay down my the trials of each, and thinks for each life for the sheepgives no counte- with a special solicitude, and gave nance to the exclusive doctrine of itself for each with a sacrifice as what is called “particular redemp- special and a love as personal, as if tion.” That “Christ died for all ” is in the whole world's wilderness there as clearly laid down in the Scripture were none other but that one."-Seras that (which the advocates of the mons by F. W. Robertson, Second doctrine in question are forward to Series, p. 288. Compare the lines in admit) “all were dead.” Here He is The Christian Year, Monday before speaking of those who will partake Easter, of the benefit, who become His true “ There are who sigh that no fond sheep; and therefore naturally ap

heart is theirs,” &c. plies the language to them. These 3 Not one Fold, as in the E. V., are they whom He has now in view, but one Flock. No one branch and of whom therefore He here merely of the Church Catholic, but speaks.

the Catholic Church itself. The and “ Try to feel by imagining what of the E. V., it will be observed, is not the lonely Syrian shepherd must feel in the original. See Eze, xxxiv. 22, towards the helpless beings which 23; xxxvii. 24; Eccles. xii. 11; Zech. are the companions of his daily life, xiv. 9. Compare Vir. Ecl. vii. 2. for whose safety he stands in jeopardy * A Form of Prayer for the Twenevery hour, and whose value is mea- tieth of June. surable to him, not by price, but by 5 The Form and Manner of Orderhis own jeopardy, and then we have ing of Priests. See also the last of reached some notion of the love which the Collects for Good Friday. 1 St. Jesus meant to represent, the eternal Pet, ii. 25; St. John xi. 51, 52.

CCCXLVII.

THE SAME SUBJECT-continued.

St. John x. 17-21.

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Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

The Lord, in closing His allegory of the Shepherd and His sheep, reverts to the sacrifice of Himself. It won, so to speak, the love of the Father. It was done too of set purpose, without which it would have been “neither lawful nor possible.”? For this was no reckless, suicidal thing. It was no sudden flash of heroism ; a deed of daring done without counting the cost; an impulsive act, in a moment of enthusiasm ; but a voluntary, vicarious sacrifice. And though His life was taken by man, yet in this sense no man taketh it from Him. For those His betrayers and murderers, however criminal in intention, would have been impotent in act, if He had not so surrendered Himself. And He alone of all that ever shared the nature of man had liberty and power for this. This was His special prerogative. This commission He had received from the Father. He was the “Sent,” and

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" See note (1) ante, p. 105.

vv. 11, 15, 17, 18. See Zech. xiii. 7, 2 Stier quoted in Alford. Compare and Pearson On the Creed, Art. iv.

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this His generous mission.' “The commandment put here means nothing else but to show His unanimity with the Father; and if He speaketh in so humble and human a way, the cause is the infirmity of the hearers.”2 This is the fourth time that our Evangelist expressly notes, and thrice in the same express words, the different effect of the Lord's sayings upon different hearers; the varied event of the same seed falling upon the honest and upon the prejudiced mind. See here the fearful lengths to which a passionate prejudice can go. None could deny the fact of the miracle wrought upon the man that was born blind. It was attested, how- . ever unwillingly, even by enemies. So, as they cannot disprove the work, they maliciously attempt to disparage its Author. This is the third time they have the hardihood to vent this blasphemy. The idea of demoniacal possession in that day was well understood, and it was a convenient shelter and resource for the unbelievers. But the honest and unprejudiced make a very significant answer, and ask an unanswerable question. Those bad overlooked the Lord's Divine works, and tried to cast contempt upon His words; but these bring them back to the point. His words, they urge, are justified by His works.

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CCCXLVIII.

THE RETURN OF THE SEVENTY.

St. Luke x. 17-20.

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any Ps. xl. 7, 8.

occurred to Nicodemus (ch. iii. 2) ? Chry. in 8. Jo. Hom. lx.

and to the man that was born blind 3 Ch. vii. 12, 43; ix. 16.

(ch. ix. 31-33). See Acts x. 38, with + Ch. vii. 20; viii. 48.

St. Matt. xii, 26. * It is exactly the argument which

means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you ; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

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The Seventy had been sent forth before the Feast of Tabernacles. They are overjoyed to find that they can now do what before they had been unable to do;? more even than was mentioned in their commission. It was to them a matter of joyful surprise that even the devils were subject to them using their Lord's name. But it was no wonder to Him who had beheld the chief of the devils, the adversary and apostate,* fall from his first estate. He who is now the bitter enemy of God and man, making, so far as He can, hell on earth, was once an angel in Heaven. There he rebelled, and thence he was expelled. His fall was swift as the lightning. This the Lord saw when He was in the bosom of the Father, before the world was. Satan, we know, in the guise of a serpent, beguiled the mother of mankind. But even in Eden it was predicted that the seed of the woman, the Son of Mary, should bruise the serpent's head. This power He extends, as one of the results of His incarnation, to His servants.? Fearless they might set down their foot on the reptiles which symbolized the power of Satan. Scorpions as well as serpents are common in the East, and they are connected in Holy Scripture with what is spiritually noxious to man. Lest however they should be puffed up with pride, even as Satan was,' at this consciousness of power, the Lord points them to a higher ground of rejoicing. The disciples

10 might be in danger, as the Corinthians afterwards were," of

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1 “St. Luke, whose practice it is to finish off with a subject on which he has entered, introduces the return of the seventy in connexion with their setting forth.”—Bishop Wordsworth.

2 St. Luke ix. 40.

3 Compare St. Luke ix. 1, 2 and x. 1, 9.

4 The word Satan seems to have both significations. See Suicer, 8. v.

5 Is. xiv. 12-15; Rev. xii. 7-12.

6 Gen. iii. 13, 15; Ps. xci. 13. This is the Psalm referred to in the history

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